Irish Sports Council Announces Funding Package of €25.6 million for 2011
·National Governing Bodies; €12.1 million
·Local Sports Partnerships; €5.7 million
·High Performance; €7.8 million
February 17, 2011.
The Irish Sports Council announced a major funding package for 2011 with a total €25.6 million which will be invested into 57 National Governing Bodies of Sport, including 18 high performance sports, and 32 Local Sports Partnerships.
€7.8 million will be invested in high performance athletes and sports in 2011, the crucial preparatory and qualification period in advance of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. This includes €1.95 million under the International Carding Scheme, direct grants to 115 of Ireland’s top athletes including Katie Taylor, Kenneth Egan, Derval O’Rourke, Jason Smyth and Grainne Murphy.
Mr. Kieran Mulvey, Chairman of the Irish Sports Council, announced the funding for the National Governing Bodies of Sport will be €12.1 million and for the Local Sports Partnerships will be €5.7 million. Mr. Mulvey commented; “Investing over €25million in the range of sports this year is a vote of confidence in the Irish sports sector. The Council believes that sport plays a central role in the social and cultural life of Ireland and will play a significant part in the economic recovery”.
The Minister for Sport, Mary Hanafin said on-going Government investment is helping deliver a huge variety of sports around the country. “Everyone benefits from participation in sport and the funding being allocated today helps clubs and organisations throughout the country to deliver key services to increase participation and support sportsmen and women. The economic, social and health value of sport is well established and is something that must continue to be recognised, even in difficult economic circumstances. These 89 sports organisations are doing tremendous work nurturing a love of sport in young people and helping increase participation at every level while all the time supporting employment in the sports sector.”
€5.8 million is being allocated to 18 high performance sports for the implementation of their Performance Plans. These plans provide a complete programme of support to elite athletes who also benefit directly under the International Carding Scheme. 115 individual athletes and 2 teams benefit under “Carding” this year. Eamonn Coghlan, who chairs the Council’s High Performance Committee commented; “We were determined to maintain high performance funding levels in this critical year. Irish athletes won 30 medals in international championships competition in 2010, an incredible performance that demonstrates the effectiveness of the long term investment strategy of the Council”.
In addition to the activities supported by today’s announcement, the Council will be active in developing the sports sector with national agencies such as Coaching Ireland, the GAA, FAI, IRFU , Olympic Council of Ireland , Paralympics Ireland and Age & Opportunity. Specific funding relevant programmes will be announced later in the year.
Mr John Treacy, Chief Executive of the Irish Sports Council, said: “The Council’s research demonstrates that the sports sector generates a significant return to the Exchequer investment by generating economic, social and health benefits. The governing bodies and sports partnerships are the main delivery agencies for sport and they will continue their excellent work in 2011”.
Irish Sports Council Publishes New Research into Economic Impact of Sport
A new Irish Sports Council report highlights how sport contributes significantly to the economy.
- Irish households spend a total of €1,885.6 million on sport and sport-related goods and services, equivalent to 2% of the overall value of consumer spending in the economy;
- Sport-related spending contributes €1,830.3 million to Irish economy value-added, equivalent to 1.4% of economy-wide value-added or GDP;
- Sport and sport-related activities support over 38,000 full-time equivalent jobs, or over 2% of the overall level of employment in Ireland.
Volunteering plays a key role in Irish sport with an economic value equivalent to between €322 million and €582 million annually. 270,000 people participate in some form of sport-related voluntary activity. The vast majority of the 12,000 sports clubs, across 64 sports and with 1.7 million members, operate on a voluntary basis.
Kieran Mulvey; Chairman of the Irish Sports Council, commenting at the launch of the report stated: “It is the Council’s view that the contribution of sport to the Irish economy is not fully appreciated. Government investment plays an important role in supporting and driving the sports sector. This effort, our report demonstrates, brings a very significant financial return to the Exchequer as well as a variety of important economic and social benefits”.
The new report, prepared by Indecon International economic Consultants, highlights the return to the Exchequer for the State’s investment in sport. For every €100 of government expenditure, the government receives approximately €149 back in the form of taxes and other income arising from sport-related economic activity. Based on figures for 2008, it is estimated that overall (central plus local) government expenditure amounted to €618.3 million. However the government received a total of €922.4 million in revenues from taxes on sport, implying a net income from the sport economy of €304.1 million.
John Treacy, Chief Executive of the Irish Sports Council said “Participation in sport brings many benefits in terms of health and wellbeing which in turn produces an economic dividend through reducing costs to the health service. Further, the immense contribution of sport in generating social capital, particularly through voluntarism, is a vital national resource which must be protected”.
The economic assessment includes the significant contribution of sport-related tourism in which inflows to Ireland amount to €200.8 million in gross terms, giving rise to €188.6 million in Gross Value Added and supporting almost 3,000 jobs in the domestic economy.
The Indecon report sets out the main direct and indirect economic impacts of sport. It also points to a number of important wider socio-economic benefits which arise from participation in sport and sport-related volunteering.
- Through sustaining a healthier population, sport reduces the costs of health service provision;
- Delivers increased productivity with associated economic benefits;
- Contributes to social capital and social cohesion arising from participation and volunteering more generally;
- Community benefits through investment in elite sport and incentivising further participation;
- Generates financial benefits for the Exchequer through increased economic activity and reduced health service costs.
William Batt from Indecon, the lead author of the report stated: “Indecon believes it is important to acknowledge the significant contribution of the sports sector to overall economic activity. Further, it is important for policy to take into account the strong positive return for the Exchequer from sport”,
The “Assessment of Economic Impact of Sport in Ireland” was prepared for the Irish Sports Council by Indecon International Economic Consultants in association with Sheffield-Hallam University.